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Sam Pickering

Sam PickeringA graduate of Sewanee, Sam Pickering did graduate work at Cambridge and Princeton before embarking on a remarkable academic and literary career. Among his twenty books are several works of literary history (e.g., The Moral Tradition in English Fiction, 1785-1850), a couple of travel memoirs (WalkaboutYear, Edinburgh Days), and (at last count) fifteen volumes of the familiar essays for which he is best known. Among these are A Continuing Education, The Right Distance, Still Life, Deprived of Unhappiness, and Indian Summer. He is equally well-known as a teacher who has inspired students at the Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, at Dartmouth College, and—for thirty years—at the University of Connecticut. He has written a book of advice for teachers (Letters to a Teacher) and is widely recognized as the teacher who inspired the 1989 film Dead Poets’ Society.

~Biographical information taken from Sewanee School of Letters (


Recordings and Transcripts

Video recordings of Sam Pickering at the 2006 UND Writers Conference.

Transcription of "A Conversation with Sam Pickering" from the 2006 UND Writers Conference.